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Hens H.,University of Oulu | Jakalaniemi A.,Thule Institute | Tali K.,Estonian University of Life Sciences | Efimov P.,RAS Komarov Botanical Institute | And 2 more authors.
Genetica | Year: 2017

The genetic structure and diversity of species is determined by both current population dynamics and historical processes. Population genetic structure at the edge of the distribution is often expected to differ substantially from populations at the centre, as these edge populations are often small and fragmented. In addition, populations located in regions that have experienced repeated glaciations throughout the Pleistocene, may still carry imprints from the genetic consequences of frequent distribution shifts. Using chloroplast DNA sequences and nuclear microsatellite markers we studied the genetic structure of Epipactis atrorubens at the northern edge of its distribution. Contrary to populations in the centre of the distribution, populations at the northern range are regionally endangered as they are small and disjunct. Sequence data of 2 chloroplast loci and allelic data from 6 nuclear microsatellite markers were obtained from 297 samples from Finland, Estonia and Russia. We sought for genetic indicators of past population processes, such as post-glacial colonisation history of E. atrorubens. As expected, we observed low genetic variation, in terms of numbers of substitutions, haplotypes and alleles, and significant levels of differentiation, especially pronounced in the chloroplast DNA. These features suggest that the edge populations could be prone to extinction. © 2017, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Wang X.,National University of Singapore | Pehkonen S.O.,Masdar Institute of Science and Technology | Ramo J.,Thule Institute | Vaananen M.,University of Oulu | And 2 more authors.
Catalysis Science and Technology | Year: 2012

Degussa P25 TiO 2 doped with nitrogen via NH 3 treatment at 400-600°C was found to be capable of catalyzing the photo-oxidation of aqueous As(iii) to As(v) under visible light. Substitutional doping of N for O creates N-Ti-O surface linkages, as confirmed by XPS. Kinetic studies have been performed in batch systems with 40 μM As(iii) and 0.05 g L -1 TiO 2. Photocatalytic oxidation of As(iii) in the presence of N-doped TiO 2 annealed at 500°C was complete within 4 hours of irradiation at λ > 435 nm. The presence of titanium oxynitride (or similar surface moieties) is linked with the good photooxidation catalytic activity toward As(iii). Zeta potentials of the N-doped TiO 2 showed negative shifts at low pH values, which became more pronounced when measured after photocatalytic testing, suggesting at least partial retention of As(v). First principles DFT calculations were also carried out for a model anatase (101) surface, in both the pristine and N-doped condition. Dissociation of water is energetically favoured over the N-TiO 2 surface. This surface activation mechanism provides the rationale for increased As(v) retention. Enhanced adsorptive properties in TiO 2 would render it a more versatile remediation agent. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Jakalaniemi A.,Thule Institute | Ramula S.,University of Turku | Ramula S.,Lund University | Tuomi J.,University of Oulu
Evolutionary Ecology | Year: 2013

Selection is assumed to eliminate life-histories showing high variability in vital rates that have the greatest influence on population performance. Therefore, an inverse variability-importance relationship of vital rates is believed to be a universal pattern for diverse life-histories. We tested for such a relationship using multi-year demographic data on a large number of populations of two perennial plant species. Applying different approaches, we first examined the overall variability-importance relationship for the average main vital rates (survival, growth, retrogression, fecundity) per species, and then separately for each population. We found an overall inverse relationship between temporal variation and importance of the average main vital rates for both study species, but these negative species-level correlations were mainly caused by different scales of the examined vital rates. When variability-importance relationships were examined across individual demographic transitions within populations, the abundance of positive and negative correlations depended largely on the method used, and positive correlations were more common after correcting vital rates for sampling variation than when using uncorrected vital rates. Our results cast doubt on the generality of the demographic buffering hypothesis, suggesting that the inverse variability-importance relationship may not be a universal pattern when vital rates are examined for multiple populations of the same plant species. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Syrjanen J.,University of Jyväskylä | Korsu K.,Finnish Environment Institute | Louhi P.,Finnish Environment Institute | Paavola R.,Thule Institute | Muotka T.,Finnish Environment Institute
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences | Year: 2011

Terrestrial invertebrates have been reported to be positively selected by stream salmonids. We assessed the importance of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates to salmonid diets in 25 streams in Finland, with the hypothesis that terrestrial prey would be important in only the smallest forest streams. Several measures of prey availability were used, including proportional abundance in benthic or drift samples, compared with a trait-based approach, to predict diet composition. Across all 25 streams in autumn, blackfly and caddis larvae were the most important prey items. Terrestrial invertebrates were of moderate importance in all streams, including the smallest. Pure availability predicted diet best and provided, in most cases, a significant fit with the observed diet. In a quantitative literature review, the mean proportion of terrestrial prey in salmonid diets was 17%, being highest for the largest fish (≥15 cm). Species of the genus Salmo consumed significantly less terrestrials than did other salmonid genera. The proportion of terrestrial prey was highest in streams flowing through deciduous forests, but it was only weakly correlated with channel width.


Astorga A.,University of Oulu | Astorga A.,Massey University | Astorga A.,Finnish Environment Institute | Death R.,Massey University | And 5 more authors.
Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2014

To define whether the beta diversity of stream invertebrate communities in New Zealand exhibits geographical variation unexplained by variation in gamma diversity and, if so, what mechanisms (productivity, habitat heterogeneity, dispersal limitation, disturbance) best explain the observed broad-scale beta diversity patterns. We sampled 120 streams across eight regions (stream catchments), spanning a north-south gradient of 12° of latitude, and calculated beta diversity (with both species richness and abundance data) for each region. We explored through a null model if beta diversity deviates from the expectation of stochastic assembly processes and whether the magnitude of the deviation varies geographically. We then performed multimodel inference analysis on the key environmental drivers of beta diversity, using Akaike's information criterion and model and predictor weights to select the best model(s) explaining beta diversity. Beta diversity was, unexpectedly, highest in the South Island. The null model analysis revealed that beta diversity was greater than expected by chance in all eight regions, but the magnitude of beta deviation was higher in the South Island, suggesting differences in environmental filtering and/or dispersal limitation between North and South Island. Habitat heterogeneity was the predominant driver of beta diversity of stream macroinvertebrates, with productivity having a secondary, and negative, contribution. This is one of the first studies accounting for stochastic effects while examining the ecological drivers of beta diversity. Our results suggest that local environmental heterogeneity may be the strongest determinant of beta diversity of stream invertebrates, more so than regional- or landscape-scale variables. © 2014 The Authors.


Eskelinen R.,University of Oulu | Eskelinen R.,Thule Institute | Ronkanen A.-K.,University of Oulu | Marttila H.,University of Oulu | Klove B.,University of Oulu
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2016

Constructed wetlands (CWs) are commonly established to reduce pollution load from different sources. In environmental permits, the load remaining after CW purification is typically estimated through concentration and flow measurements. This load monitoring is often carried out using long water quality sampling intervals, which causes uncertainty in load estimation. In this study, a large suspended solids (SSs) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) dataset was used to quantify the uncertainty in load estimation at the inlet and outlet of a CW with different sampling frequencies (sampling every 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks). A method to reduce the uncertainty by dividing the CW flow duration curve (FDC) into four equal categories and assigning mean/median concentration for each category according to the measured concentrations was also tested. The results showed that estimated SS load was associated with considerable uncertainty and that this uncertainty increased with lower sampling frequency. The FDC method was able to decrease the uncertainty, but much still remained, especially when concentrations of the measured variable showed great variation. In such cases, sensor technology might be a feasible option for further reducing the uncertainty. © 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


JakalaniemI A.,Thule Institute | Crone E.E.,Harvard University | Narhi P.,Geological Survey of Finland | Tuomi J.,University of Oulu
Ecology | Year: 2011

In plants, prolonged dormancy is often considered a response to resource depletion or environmental stress that comes at a fitness cost. However, apparent costs of dormancy could reflect the state in which plants entered dormancy, rather than effects of dormancy per se. We tested this hypothesis for a terrestrial orchid, Epipactis atrorubens, by analyzing differences in vital rates of dormant and emergent plants using generalized linear mixed models, applied to eight years of demographic data. Dormant E. atrorubens plants did not form one homogeneous stage class. Instead, the vital rates of dormant plants mirrored performance of plants in their life stage before dormancy. Plants emerging from dormancy were slightly (albeit only marginally statistically significantly) larger than plants transitioning from the matching aboveground stage class, especially for smaller and younger stage classes. Because small plants were most likely to go dormant, plants emerging from dormancy were also smaller than average, if one were to compare all previously dormant plants to all previously emergent plants. Therefore, misclassifying all dormant plants into a single stage class changes whether we view dormancy as intrinsically costly, in terms of future performance upon emergence. We suggest that prolonged dormancy may be a form of phenotypic plasticity in which plants distribute their performance and reproductive effort through time, rather than a simple stress response. © 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.


Jakalaniemi A.,Thule Institute | Jakalaniemi A.,Harvard University | Postila H.,University of Oulu | Tuomi J.,University of Oulu
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

Short-term surveys are useful in conservation of species if they can be used to reliably predict the long-term fate of populations. However, statistical evaluations of reliability are rare. We studied how well short-term demographic data (1999-2002) of tartar catchfly (Silene tatarica), a perennial riparian plant, projected the fate and growth of 23 populations of this species up to the year 2010. Surveyed populations occurred along a river with natural flood dynamics and along a regulated river. Riparian plant populations are affected by flooding, which maintains unvegetated shores, while forest succession proceeds in areas with little flooding. Flooding is less severe along the regulated river, and vegetation overgrowth reduces abundance of tartar catchfly on unvegetated shores. We built matrix models to calculate population growth rates and estimated times to population extinction in natural and in regulated rivers, 13 and 10 populations, respectively. Models predicted population survival well (model predictions matched observed survival in 91% of populations) and accurately predicted abundance increases and decreases in 65% of populations. The observed and projected population growth rates differed significantly in all but 3 populations. In most cases, the model overestimated population growth. Model predictions did not improve when data from more years were used (1999-2006). In the regulated river, the poorest model predictions occurred in areas where cover of other plant species changed the fastest. Although vegetation cover increased in most populations, it decreased in 4 populations along the natural river. Our results highlight the need to combine disturbance and succession dynamics in demographic models and the importance of habitat management for species survival along regulated rivers. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.


PubMed | Thule Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Ecology | Year: 2011

In plants, prolonged dormancy is often considered a response to resource depletion or environmental stress that comes at a fitness cost. However, apparent costs of dormancy could reflect the state in which plants entered dormancy, rather than effects of dormancy per se. We tested this hypothesis for a terrestrial orchid, Epipactis atrorubens, by analyzing differences in vital rates of dormant and emergent plants using generalized linear mixed models, applied to eight years of demographic data. Dormant E. atrorubens plants did not form one homogeneous stage class. Instead, the vital rates of dormant plants mirrored performance of plants in their life stage before dormancy. Plants emerging from dormancy were slightly (albeit only marginally statistically significantly) larger than plants transitioning from the matching aboveground stage class, especially for smaller and younger stage classes. Because small plants were most likely to go dormant, plants emerging from dormancy were also smaller than average, if one were to compare all previously dormant plants to all previously emergent plants. Therefore, misclassifying all dormant plants into a single stage class changes whether we view dormancy as intrinsically costly, in terms of future performance upon emergence. We suggest that prolonged dormancy may be a form of phenotypic plasticity in which plants distribute their performance and reproductive effort through time, rather than a simple stress response.


PubMed | Thule Institute
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

Short-term surveys are useful in conservation of species if they can be used to reliably predict the long-term fate of populations. However, statistical evaluations of reliability are rare. We studied how well short-term demographic data (1999-2002) of tartar catchfly (Silene tatarica), a perennial riparian plant, projected the fate and growth of 23 populations of this species up to the year 2010. Surveyed populations occurred along a river with natural flood dynamics and along a regulated river. Riparian plant populations are affected by flooding, which maintains unvegetated shores, while forest succession proceeds in areas with little flooding. Flooding is less severe along the regulated river, and vegetation overgrowth reduces abundance of tartar catchfly on unvegetated shores. We built matrix models to calculate population growth rates and estimated times to population extinction in natural and in regulated rivers, 13 and 10 populations, respectively. Models predicted population survival well (model predictions matched observed survival in 91% of populations) and accurately predicted abundance increases and decreases in 65% of populations. The observed and projected population growth rates differed significantly in all but 3 populations. In most cases, the model overestimated population growth. Model predictions did not improve when data from more years were used (1999-2006). In the regulated river, the poorest model predictions occurred in areas where cover of other plant species changed the fastest. Although vegetation cover increased in most populations, it decreased in 4 populations along the natural river. Our results highlight the need to combine disturbance and succession dynamics in demographic models and the importance of habitat management for species survival along regulated rivers.

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